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"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam

The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.

Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.

Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!

Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.

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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:

Fraud email example:

From: "Joe Obi" (may be fake)
Reply-To: <>
Date: Fri, 21 Feb 2014 15:50:44 -0800
Subject: If interested,


My name is Joe Obi and I am the Special Adviser on Media & spokesperson for the Aviation Minister Mrs. Stella Oduah, here in Nigeria. For security reasons, I may not wish to disclose how I got your email address for now.

I contacted you because madam mandated me to seek for a foreign partner to assist us receive the sum of $29.4 million; which was realized from over accumulated & over invoice contracts. These contracts were executed, commissioned and the contractor paid his actual cost of the contract. Your share will be 30% for successfully receiving the fund into your account. We have been exercising patience for so long not until presidential announcement last week that all foreign contractors owed be paid forthwith, in order to reconcile Nigeria debt ratio & forgiveness from foreign creditors. This deal is a life time blessing we cannot afford to miss.

Please note that the law forbids public servants to operate or own foreign accounts hence this contact. Let honesty and trust be our watchword throughout this transaction. I shall furnish you with some details about myself.

If interested, reply immediately with information of your full name, contact address, telephone & fax numbers that will enable us seek/secure approval from concerned government quarters/ agencies & have the payment application/information form sent to you via email for completion within 3-4 days.


Anti-fraud resources: